Denman Island is part of provincial legislation introduced Thursday that is adding nearly 276,000 hectares to the BC Parks system.
Bill 5 — the Protected Areas of British Columbia Amendment Act, brought forward by Environment Minister Terry Lake includes 552-hectare Denman Island Park.
It is being established as the result of private land acquisition and Crown land transfers. This park is found within the relatively rare Coastal Douglas-fir biogeoclimatic zone.
It also includes the Chickadee watershed and areas important for a number of species at risk, including the Taylor’s Checkerspot butterfly.
“The B.C. government has been establishing parks and protected areas for more than a century,” said Lake.
Support for economic development projects, including a key BC Hydro upgrade that is expected to generate 2,000 person years of employment over five years on Vancouver Island is also facilitated by Bill 5.
B.C.’s total provincial protected areas system is 13,986,106 hectares — the third-largest in North America (after the Canadian and the U.S. national park systems) and the largest provincial/territorial parks system in Canada.
Class A parks provide the highest level of protection of recreation and conservation values of all parks. Conservancies explicitly recognize the importance of the area to First Nations for social, ceremonial and cultural uses.
— Ministry of the Environment